tv Washington This Week CSPAN September 9, 2012 10:30am-2:00pm EDT
the up ticket. it is not bringing ryan, the author of the plan, or romney down. the i think a lot of what john boehner has called these course races in new york state, and california -- the republicans are hurting. i heard yesterday from somebody who said "you know, i hate to say it. i do believe the 25 might be in sight." nobody is betting on it, but i think at this point if the election was today, i think a lot more republican seats would be lost been democrats thought a few weeks ago. but voters are only tuning in through the race now. now it is the real political season. >> our guests joining us today -- you just heard from jonathan weisman, a congressional
>> thank you. thank you. thank you. my fellow democrats. my fellow americans, my fellow texans. i stand before you tonight as a young american, a proud american of a generation born as the cold war receded shaped by the tragedy of 9/11, connected by the digital revolution, and determined to reelect the man who will make the 21st century another american century, president barack obama. [cheers and applause] .
my grand mother was an orphan. as a young girl she had to move from mexico to san antonio where some relatives had agreed to take her in. she never made it past the fourth gread. she had to drop out and start working to help her family. my grandmother spent her whole life working as a maid, a cook, and a baby sitter barely scraping by but still working hard to get my mother, her only child, a chance in life, so that my mother could give my brother and me an even better one. as my grandmother got older, she begged my mother to give her grand chirp, she begged to god for just one grand babey before she died.
you can imagine her excitement when she found out her prayers would be answered twice over. she was so excited that the day before we were born she eentrd a cookoff and won $300. that's how she paid our hospital bill. by the time we came along, this incredible woman had taught herself to read and write in both spanish and english. i can still see her in the room that we shared with her, reading hering a that christy novels late into the night. and i can still remember her every morning as we walked out the front door to school making the sign of the cross behind us saying, may god bless you. my grandmother didn't live to see us begin our lives in public service but she probably would have thought it extraordinary that just two generations after she arrived in san antonio, one grandson
would be the mayor and the other would be on his way, the good people of san antonio willing, to the united states congress. [cheers and applause] my family's story isn't special. but special is the america that makes our story possible. ours is a nation like no other, a place for great journeys to be made in a single generation no matter who you are or where you come from the path is always forward. america didn't become the land of opportunity by accident. my grandmother's generation and generations before always saw beyond the horizons of their own lives and their own circumstances. they believed that opportunity created today would lead to
prosperity tomorrow. that's the country they envisioned and that's the country they helped build. the roads and bridges they built, the schools and universities they created, the rights they fought for and won. these opened the doors to a decent job, a secure retirement, the chance for your children to do better than you did. and that's the middle class, the engine of our economic growth. with hard work, everybody ought to be able to get there and with hard work everybody ought to be able to stay there. and go beyond. the dream of raising a family in a place where hard work is rewarded is not unique to americans. it is a human dream. one that calls across oceans and borders. the dream is universal. but america makes it possible.
and our investment in opportunity makes it a reality. now, in texas we believe in the rugged individual. texas may be the one place where people actually still have boot straps. and we expect folks to pull themselves up by them. but we also recognize that there are some things we can't do alone. we have to come together and invest in opportunity today for prosperity tomorrow. and it starts with education. 20 years ago, joaquin and i left home for college and then
for law school. in those classrooms we met some of the brightest folks in the world. but at the end of our days there i couldn't help but to think back to my classmates at thomas jefferson high school in san antonio. they had the same talents, the same brains, the same dreams as the folks we sat with at stanford and harvard. i realized the difference wasn't one of intelligence or drive. the difference was opportunity. in my city of san antonio, we get that. so we're working to ensure that more four-year-olds have access to pre-k. we opened cafe college where everybody gets help. we know that you can't be pro-business unless you're pro-education.
we know that pre-k and student loans aren't charity. they're a smart investment in a workforce that can build and create the jobs of tomorrow. we're investing in young minds today to be competitive in the global economy tomorrow. and it's paying off. last year, the milken institute ranked san antonio as the nation's top performing local economy and we're only getting started. opportunity today, prosperity tomorrow. now, like many of you, i watched last week's republican convention. and they told a few stories of individual success. we all celebrate individual success. but the question is, how do we
multiply that success? the answer is president barack obama. mitt romney quite simply doesn't get it. a few months ago, he visited a university in ohio and gave students there a little entrepreneurial advice. start a business, he said. but how? borrow money if you have to from your parents he told them. geez, why didn't i think of that? some people are lucky enough to borrow money from their parents but that shouldn't determine whether you can pursue your dreams. not in america. not here, not in the 21st century. i don't think governor romney meant any harm.
i think he's a good guy. he just has no idea how good he's had it. we know that in our free market economy, some will prosper more than others. what we don't accept is the idea that some folks won't even get a chance and the thing is mitt romney and the republican party are perfectly comfortable with that, america. in fact, that's exactly what they're promising us. the romney-ryan budget doesn't just cut public education, cut medicare, cut transportation and cut job training. it doesn't just pumible the mick, it dismantles it. it dismantles what generations before have built to make sure that everyone can enter and stay in the middle class. romney says no. when it comes to respecting
women's rights mitt romney says no. when it comes to letting people love who they love and marry who they want to marry, mitt romney says no. when it comes to expanding access to good health care, mitt romney says no. actually, mitt romney said yes and now he says no. governor romney has undergone an extreme makeover. and it ain't pretty. so here's what we're going to say to mitt romney in november. we're going to say no. of all the fiction wes heard
last week in tampa, the one i find most troubling is this. if we all just go our own way, our nation will be stronger for it. because if we sever the threats that connect us, the only people who will go far are those who are already ahead. we all understand that freedom isn't free. what romney and ryan don't understand is that neither is opportunity. we have to invest in it. republicans tell us that if the most prosperous among us do even better that somehow the rest of us will too. folks, we've heard that before. first they called it trickle down. then they called it supply side. now it's romney-ryan. or is it ryan romney? either way, the theory's been tested, it failed, the economy
failed, your family paid the price. mitt romney just doesn't get it. but barack obama gets it. he understands that when we invest in people we're investing in our shared prosperity. and when we anything demrect that responsibility, we risk our promise as a nation. just a few years ago, families that had never asked for anything found themselves at risk of losing everything. and the dream my grandmother held that work would be rewarded, that the middle class would be there if not for her then for her children, that dream was being crushed. but then president obama took office and he took action. when detroit was in trouble, president obama saved the auto industry and saved 1 million jobs.
seven presidents before him republicans and democrats tried to expand health care to all americans. president obama got it done. he made an historic investment to lift our nation's public schools and expanded pell grants so that more young people could afford college. and because he knows that we don't have an ounce of talent to waste, the president took action to lift the shadow of deportation of a generation of young law-abiding immigrants called dreamers. now it's time for congress to enshrine in law their right to pursue their dreams in the only place they've ever called home. america. four years ago, america stood
on the brink of a depression. despite incredible odds, and united republican opposition, our president took action and now we've seen 4.5 million new jobs. he knows better than anyone that there's more hard work to do. but we're making progress. and now, we need to make a choice. it's a choice between a country where the middle class pays more so that millionaires can pay less, or a country where everybody pays their fair share so we can reduce the deficit and create the jobs of the future. it's a choice between a nation that slashes funding for our schools and guts pell grants or a nation that invests more in education. and it's a choice between a politician who rewards companies that ship american jobs overseas or a leader who brings jobs back home.
this is the choice before us. and to me, to my generation and for all the generations to come, our choice is clear. our choice is a man who has always chosen us, a man who already is our president, barack obama. in the end, the american dream is not a sprit or even a marathon. but a relay. our families don't always cross the finish line in the span of
one generation, but each generation passes on to the next the fruits of their labor. my grandmother never owned a house. she cleaned other people's houses so she could afford to rent her own. but she saw her daughter become the first in her family to graduate from college. and my mother fought hard for civil rights so that instead of a mop i could hold this microphone. and while she may be proud of me tonight, i've got to tell you, mom, i'm even more proud of you. today, -- today, my beautiful
wife erica and i are the proud parents of a 3-year-old little girl, car ena victoria, named after my grandmother. a couple of mondays ago, was her first day of pre-k and as we dropped her off we walked out classroom and i found myself whispering to her as was once whispered to me, may god bless you. she's still young and her dreams are far off yet. but i hope she will reach them. as a dad, i'm going to do my part. and i know she will do hers.
but our responsibility as a nation is to come together and do our part as one community, one united states of america, to ensure opportunity for all of our children. the day wes live in are not easy ones but we have seen days like this before. and america prevailed. with the wisdom of our founders and the values of our family, america prevailed. with each generation going further than the last, america prevailed. and with the opportunity we build today for a shared prosperity tomorrow, america will prevail. it begins with reelecting barack obama. it begins with you. it begins now. may god bless you. and may god bless the united states of america. thank you.
>> wow, what's a mom like me doing in a place like this? i'm not even a political person but what i am is a military mom. my husband and i are so proud of our five kids. one each in the army, the navy, the air force, and the marines. our youngest is still in high school and, yes, we are hoping he will join the coast guard. they are mom's most precious
treasures. and i don't know when i'm going to get them together again because one of them is always deploying. but because of dr. biden and the first lady, our lives are a little bit easier. along with president obama, they have made helping military families a top priority. they've brought together the american people including thousands of businesses to become part of a nationwide support network. it is honor and respect in action. and it warms this mother's heart. last december, i wrote michelle obama a christmas card. just a mom to mom note to say thank you for caring. the first lady not only read my letter. she invited my husband and i to
the white house. twass an amazing experience. but what's even more amazing is knowing that our commander in chief and first lady are thinking about families like mine every single day. so -- [applause] like i said, i'm not a political person, but i'm a mom. and if someone is there for my family and families like mine, then i'll be there for them. that's why i am so proud to introduce my fellow mom and our first lady michelle obama.
with your help -- let me start. i want to start by thanking elaine. thank you so much. we are so grateful for your family's service and sacrifice. and we will always have your back. over the past few years as first lady, i have had the extraordinary privilege of traveling all across this country, and everywhere i've gone and the people i've met and the stories i've heard, i have seen the very best of the american spirit. i have seen it in the incredible kindness and warmth that people have shown me and my family, especially our
girls. i have seen it in teachers in a near bankrupt school district who vowed to keep teaching without pay. i've seen it in people who become heroes at a moment's notice, diving into harm's way to save others, flying across the country to put out a fire, driving for hours to bail out a flooded town. and i've seen it in our men and women in uniform and our proud military families. probable cause probable cause in wounded warriors who tell me they're not just going to walk again. they're going to run and they're going to run marathons. in the young man blind bid a bomb in afghanistan who said simply, i would give my eyes 100 times again to have the chance to do what i have done and what i can still do. every day, the people i meet
inspire me. every day they make me proud. every day they remind me how blessed we are to live in the greatest nation on earth. serving as your first lady is an honor and a privilege. but back when we first came together four years ago, i still had some concerns about this journey we'd begun. while i believed deeply in my husband's vision for this country and i was certain he would make an extraordinary president, like any mother i was worried about what it would mean for our girls if he got that chance. how will we keep them grounded under the glare of the national spotlight? how would they feel being uprooted from their school, their friends, and the only home they had ever known? see, our life before moving to washington was filled with simple joys. saturdays at soccer games,
sundays at grandma's house. and a date night for barack and me was either dinner or a movie. because as an exhausted mom i couldn't stay awake for both. and the truth is, i loved the life we had built for our girls. and i deeply loved the man i had built that love with. and i didn't want that to change if he became president. i loved barack just the way he was. you see, even back then when barack was a senator and a presidential candidate, to me he was still the guy who picked me up for our dates in a car that was so rusted out, i could actually see the pavement going by in a hole in the spassjer side door. he was the guy whose proudest possession was a coffee table he found in a dumpster.
and whose only pair of decent shoes was a half size too small. but see, when barack started telling me about his family, that's when i knew i had found a kind rid spirit, someone whose values and upbring wrg so much like mine. you see, barack and i were both raised by families who didn't have much in the way of money or material possessions but who had given us something far more valuable. their unconditional love. their unflinching sacrifice. and the chance to go places they had never imagined for themselves. my father was a pump operator at the city water plant. and he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis when my brother and i were young. and even as a kid, i knew there were plenty of days when he was in pain and i knew there were plenty of mornings when it was a struggle for him to simply
get out of bed. but every morning i watched my father wake up with a smile. grab his walker, prop himself up against the bathroom sink, and slowly shave and button his uniform. and when he returned home after a long day's work, my brother and i would stand at the top of the stairs of our little apartment patiently waiting to greet him, watching as he reached down to lift one leg and then the other to slowly climb his way into our arms. but despite these challenges, my dad hardly ever miss add day of work. he and my moth were determined to give me and my brother the kind of education they could only dream of. and when my brother and i finally made it to college, nearly all of our tuition came from student loans and grants but my dad still had to pay a
tiny portion of that tuition himself. and every semester he was determined to pay that bill right on time even taking out loans when he fell short. he was so proud to be sending his kids to college and he made sure we never missed a registration deadline because his check was late. for my dad, that's what it meant to be a man. like so many of us, that was the measure of his success in life, being able to earn a decent living that allowed him to support his family. and as i got to know barack, i realized that even though he had grown up all the way across the country, he had been brought up just like me. barack was raised by a single mom who struggled to pay the bills and by grandparents who stepped in when she needed help. barack's grandmother started
out as a secretary at a community bank. and she moved up the ranks. but like so many women, she hit a glass ceiling. ond for years, men she had actually trained were promoted up the ladder ahead of her earning more and more money while barack's family continued to scrape by. but day after day she kept on waking up at dawn to catch the bus, arriving at work before anyone else, giving her best without complaint or regret. and she would often tell barack , so long as you kids do well, bear, that's all that really matterses. like so many american families, our families weren't asking for much. they didn't begrudge anyone else's success or care that others had much more than they did. in fact, they admired it. they simply believed in that
fundamental american promise that even if you don't start out with much, if you work hard and do what you're supposed to do, you should be able to build a decent life for yourself and an even better life for your kids and grandkids. that's how they raised us. that's what we learned from their example. we learned about dignity and decency. that how hard you work matters more than how much you make. that helping others means more than just getting ahead yourself. we learned about honesty and integrity. that the truth matters. that you don't take short cuts. or play by your own set of rules. and success doesn't count unless you earn it fair and square.
we learned about gratitude and humility. that so many people had a hand in our success from the teachers who inspired us to the jantors who kept our school clean. and we were taught to value everyone cls tributions and treat everyone with respect. those are the values that barack and i and so many of you are trying to pass on to our own children. that's who we are. and standing before you four years ago i knew that i didn't want any of that to change if barack to -- became president. today, after so many struggles and triumphs and moment that is have tested my husband in ways i never could have imagined, i have seen first-hand that being president doesn't change who you are. no, it reveals who you are.
i've gotten to see up close and personal what being president looks like and i've seen how the issues that comes across the president's desk are always the hard ones, the problems where no amount of data or numbers will get you to the right answer, the judgment calls where the stakes are so high and there is no margin for error. and as president you're going to get all kinds of advice from all kinds of people. but at the end of the day when it comes time to make that decision as president, all you have to guide you are your values and your vision, and the life experiences that make you who you are. so when it comes to rebuilding our economy, barack is thinking
about folks like my dad and like his grandmother. he's thinking about the pride that comes from a hard day's work. that's why he signed the lily led better fair pay act to help women get equal pay for equal work. that's why he cut taxes for working families and small businesses, and fought to get the auto industry back on its feet. that's how he brought our economy from the brink of collapse to creating jobs again, jobs you can raise a family on, good jobs, right here in the united states of america. en it comes to the health of our families, barack refused to listen to all those who said to leave health reform for another
day or another president. he didn't care that it was the easy thing to do. he cared that it was the right thing to do. he did it because he believed that here in america our grandparents should be able to afford their medicine. our kids should be able to see a doctor when they're sick. and no one in this country should ever go broke because of an accident or an illness. and he believes that women are more than capable of making our own choices about our bodies and our health care. that's what my husband stands for.
when it comes to giving our kids the education they deserve barack knows that he never could have attended college without financial aid. and believe it or not, when we were first married, our in bind monthly student loan bill was actually higher than our mortgage. yeah, we were so young, so in love, and so in debt. and that's why barack has fought so hard to increase student aid and keep interest rates down. because he wants every young person to fulfill their promise and be able to attend college without a mountain of debt. so in the end, for barack these issues aren't political. they're personal. because barack knows what it means when a family struggles. he knows what it means to want something more for your kids and grandkids. barack knows the american dream
because he's lived it. and he wants everyone in this country, everyone, to have the same opportunity no matter who we are or where we're from or what we look like or who we love. and hebles that when you work hard and have done well, and walk through that doorway of opportunity, you do not slam it shut behind you. no, you reach back and you give other folks the same chances that helped you succeed. so when people ask me whether
being in the white house has changed my husband, i can honestly say that when it comes to his character and his convictions and his heart, barack obama is still the same man i fell in love with all those years ago. he ts same man who started his career by turning down high-paying jobs and instead working in struggling neighborhoods where a steel plant had shut down, fighting to rebuild those communities and get folks back to work. because for barack, success isn't about how much money you make. it's about the difference you make in people's lives. he ts same man he ts same man
when our girls were first born would anxiously check their cribs every few minutes to ensure that they were still breathing proudly showing them off to everyone we knew. that's the man who sits down with me and our girls for dinner nearly every night, patiently answering questions from the news, strategizing about middle school friend shps, that's the man i see in those quiet moments late at night hunched over his desk, pouring over the letters people have sent him. the letter from the father struggling to pay his bills. from the woman dying of cancer whose insurance company won't cover her care. from the young people with so much promise but so few opportunities. and i see the concern in his
eyes. and i hear the determination in his voice as he tells me, you won't believe what these folks are going through, michelle. it's not right. we've got to keep working to fix this. we've got so much more to do. i see how those stories -- i see how those stories, our collection of struggles and hopes and dreams, i see how that's what drives barack obama every single day. and i didn't think that it was possible but let me tell you
today i love my husband even more than i did four years ago, even more than i did 23 years ago when we first met. let me tell you why. i loved that he has never forgotten how he started. i love that we can trust barack to do what he says he is going to do even when it's hard -- especially when it's hard. i love that for barack there is no such thing as us and them. he doesn't care whether you're a democrat, a republican, or none of the above. he knows that we all love our country. and he is always ready to listen to good ideas. he's always look forg the very best in everyone he meets. and i love that even in the toughest moments when we're all sweating it, when we're worried that the bill won't pass and it seems like all is lost, barack
never lets himself get distracted by the chatter and the noise. no, just like his grandmother he just keeps getting up and moving forward with patience and wisdom and courage and grace. and he reminds me that we are playing a long game here. and that change is hard. and change is slow and it never happens all at once. but eventually we get there. we always do. we get there because of folks like my dad, folks like barack's grandmother, men and women who said to themselves i may not have a chance to fulfill my dreams, but maybe my children will. maybe my grandchildren will. so many of us stand here tonight because of their sacrifice and longing and
stedfast love. because time and again they swallowed their fears and doubts and did what was hard. so today, when the challenges we face start to seem overwhelming or even impossible, let us never forget that doing the impossible is the history of this nation. it is who we are as americans. it is how this country was built. and if our parents and grand pantsdz could toil and struggle for us, if they could raise beams of still to the sky, send a man to the moon, connect the world with a touch of a button, then surely we can keep on
sacrificing and building for our own kids and grandkids. right? and if so many brave men and women could wear our country's uniform and sacrifice their lives for our most fundamental rights, then surely we can do our part as citizens of this great democracy to exercise those rights. surely we can get to the polls on election day and make our voices heard. if farmers and blacksmiths could win independence from an empire, if immigrants could leave behind everything they few for a better life on our shores, if women could be dragged to jail for seeking the vote, the f a generation could defeat a depression and define
greatness for all time, if a young preacher could lift us to the mountaintop with his rishese dream, and if proud americans can the be who they are and boldly stand at the altar with who they love, then surely surely we can give everyone in this country a fair chance at that great american dream. because in the end, in the end more than anything else that is the story of this country. the story of unwavering hope grounded in unyielding struggle. that is what has made my story and barack's story and so many
other american stories possible. and let me tell you something, i say all of this tonight not just as first lady. no. not just as a wife. you see, at the end of the day, my most important title is still mom in chief. my daughters are still the heart of my heart. and the center of my world. but let me tell you, today i have none of those worries from four years ago. no. not about whether barack and i were doing what was best for our girls. because today i know from experience that if i truly want to leave better world for my daughters and for all of our sons and daughters, if we want to give all of our children a
foundation for their dreams, and opportunities worthy of their promise, if we want to give them that sense of limitless possibility, their belief that here in america there's always something better out there if you're willing to work for it, then we must work like never before. and we must once again come together and stand together for the man we can trust to keep moving this great country forward. my husband, our president, barack obama. thank you. god bless you. god bless america.
now, mr. mayor, fello democrats, we are here to nominate a president. and i've got one in mind. i want to nominate a man whose own life has known its fair share of adversity and uncertainty. i want to nominate a man who ran for president to change the course of an already weak economy and then just six weeks before his election saw it suffer the biggest collapse since the great depression. a man who stopped the slide into depression and put us on the long road to recovery knowing all the while that no matter how many jobs that he
saved or created there would still be millions more waiting. worried about feeding their own kids, trying to keep their hopes alive. i want to nominate a man whose cool on the outside but who burns for america on the inside. i want a man who believes with no doubt that we can build a new american dream economy driven by innovation and creativity, by education, and yes by cooperation. and by the way, after last night, i want a man who had the good sense to marry michelle obama.
i want barack obama to be the next president of the united states. and i proudly nominate him to be the standard bearer of the democratic party. now, folks, in tampa a few days ago we heard a lot of talk, oh, about how the president and the democrats don't really believe in free enterprise and individual initiative. how we want everybody to be dependent on the government. how bad we are for the economy. this republican narrative, this alternative universe says that
every one of us in this room who amounts to anything, we're all completely self--made. one of the greatest chairman the democratic party ever had bob straws used to say that every politician wants every voter toible he was born in a log cabin he built himself. but and straws then admitted it ain't so. we democrats think the country works better with a strong middle class, with real opportunities for poor folks to work their way into it, with a relentless focus on the future, with business and government actually working together to promote growth and broadly shared prosperity. you see, we believe that we're all in this together is a far better philosophy than you're on your own.
now, there's a reason for this. it turns out that advancing equal opportunity and economic empowerment is both morally right and good economics. why? because poverty discrimination and ignorance restrict growth. when you stifle human potential, when you don't invest in new ideas, it doesn't just cut off the people who are affected. it hurts us all. we know that investment in education and infrastructure and scientific and technological research increase growth. they increase good jobs and they create new wealth for all the rest of us. there's something i've noticed
lately, you probably have too, and it's this. maybe just because i grew up in a different time. but though i often disagree with republicans, i actually never learned to hate them the way the far right that now controls their party seems to hate our president and a lot of other democrats. that would be impossible for me because president eisenhower sent federal troops to my home state to integrate little rock central high school. president eisenhower built the interstate highway system. when i was a governor i worked with president reagan in his white house on the first round of welfare reform and with president george hw bush on national education goals. i'm actually very grateful, as you saw from the film what i do
today i have to be grateful and you should be too that president george w. bush supported pep far. it saved a lot of millions of people in poor countries. and i have been honored to work with both presidents bush on national disasters in the aftermath of the south asian tsunami, headache katrina, the horrible earthquake in haiti. through my foundation in both america and around the world i'm workic all the time with republicans democrats and independents. sometimes i couldn't tell you for the life who i'm working with because we focus on solving problems and seizing opportunities and not fighting all the time. so here's what itcht to say to you. -- i want to say to you and here's what i want the people at home to think about. when times are tough and people are frustrated and angry and hurting and uncertain, the politics of constant conflict
may be good. but what is good politics does not necessarily work in the real world? what works in the real world is cooperation. what works in the real world is cooperation. businesses and government, foundations and universities, ask the mayors who are here. los angeles is getting green and chicago is getting an infrastructure bank because republicans and democrats are working together to get it. they didn't check their brains at the door. they didn't stop disagreeing. but their purpose was to get something done. now, why is this true? why does cooperation work better than constant conflict? because nobody is right all the time. and a broken clock is right twice a day.
every one of us and every one of them, we're compelled to spend our fleeting lives between those two extremes. knowing we're never going to be right all the time and hoping we're right more than twice a day. unfortunately, the faction that now dominates the republican party doesn't see it that way. they think government is always the enemy, they're always right, and compromise is weakness. just in the last couple of elections they defeated two distinguished republican senators because they dared to cooperate with democrats on issues important to the future of the country even national security. they beat a republican congressman with almost 100% voting record on every conservative score because he said he realized he did not have to hate the president to disagree with him. boy, that was a nonstarter and they threw him out.
one of the main reasons we ought to reelect president obama is that he is still committed to constructive cooperation. look at his record. he appointed republican secretaries of defense of the, the army, and transportation. he appointed a vice president who ran against him in 2008. and he trust that had vice president to see the successful end to the war in iraq and the implementation of the recovery act. and joe biden did a great job with both.
now, president obama appointed several members of his cabinet even though they supported hillary in the primary. heck, he even appointed hillary. now wait a minute. i am very proud of her. i am proud of the job she and the national security team have done for america. i am grateful that they have worked together to make us safer and stronger to build a world with more partners and fewer enemies. i'm grateful for the
relationship of respect and partnership she and the president have enjoyed and the signal that sends to the rest of the world that democracy does not have a -- to be a blood sport. it can be an honorable enterprise that advance it is public interest. besides the national security team i am very grateful to the men and women who served our country in uniform through these perilous times. and i am especially grateful to michelle obama and to jill biden for supporting those military families while their loved ones were overseas. and for supporting our veterans when they came home. when they come home bearing the
wounds of war, are needing help to find education or jobs, or housing. president obama's whole record on national security is a tribute to his strength, to his judgment, and to his preference for inclusion and partnership over partisanship. we need more of it in washington, d.c. now, we all know that he also tried to work with congressional republicans on health care, debt reduction, and new jobs. and that didn't work out so well. but it could have been because as the senate republican leader said, in a remarkable moment of candor, two full years before the election, their number one priority was not to put america back to work, it was to put the president out of work.
well, wait a minute. senator -- i hate to break it to you -- but we're going to keep president obama on the job. now, are you ready for that? are you willing to work for it? wait a minute. in tampa, did you all watch their convention? i did. in tampa the republican argument against the president reelection was actually pretty simple. pretty snappy. it went something like this. we left him a total mess.
he hadn't cleaned it up fast enough so fire him and put us back in. but they did it well. they looked good, they sounded good. they convinced me that they all love their families and their children and were grateful they had been born in america. really, i'm not being -- they did. this is important. they convinced me they were honorable people who believe what they said and they're going to keep every commitment they've made. we've just got to make sure the american people know what those commitments are. because -- because in order to look like an acceptable reasonable moderate alternative to president obama, they just
didn't say very much about the ideas they've offered over the last two years. they couldn't. because they want to go back to the same old policies that got us in trouble in the first place. they want to cut taxes for high income americans even more than president bush did. they want to get rid of those pesky financial regulations designed to prevent another crash and prohibit future bailout. they want to actually increase defense spending over a decade $2 trillion more than the peng has requested. without saying what they'll spend it on. and they want to make enormous cuts in the rest of the budget, especially programs that help the middle class and poor children. as another president once said, there they go again.
now, i like the argument for president obama's reelection a lot better. here it is. he inherited a deeply damaged economy. he put a floor under the crash. he began the long hard road to recovery and laid the foundation for a modern, more well balanced economy that will produce millions of good new jobs, vibe rant new businesses, and lots of new wealth for innovators. now, are we where we want to be today? no. is the president satisfied? of course not. but are we better off than we were when he took office? listen to this. everybody -- [cheers and applause]
>> when president barack obama took office, the economy was in free fall. it had just shrunk 9 full% of g.d.p. we were losing 750,000 jobs a month. are we doing better than that today? the answer is yes. now, look. here's the challenge he faces and the challenge all of you who support him face. i get it. i know it. i've been there. a lot of americans are still angry and frustrated about this economy. if you look at the numbers you know employment is growing banks are beginning to lend again. and in a lot of places the housing prices are even beginning to pick up. but too many people do not feel it yet. i had to same thing happen in 1994 and early 95. we could see that the policies were working. that the economy was growing.
but most people didn't feel it yet. thankfully, by 19 96 the economy was roaring, everybody felt it and we were halfway through the longest peacetime expansion in the history of the united states. but the difference this time is purely in the circumstances. president obama started with a much weaker economy than i did. listen to me now. no president, no president, not me, not any of my predecessors, no one could have fully repaired all the damage that he found in just four years.
but he has laid the foundation for a new modern successful economy, a shared prosperity, and if you will renew the president's contract, you will feel it. you will feel it. folks, whether the american people believe what i just said or not may be the whole elerks. i just want you to know that i believe it with all my heart i believe it. now, why do i believe? i'm fixing to tell you why. i believe it because president obama's approach embodies the values, the ideas, and the direction america has to take to build a 21st century version
of the american dream, a nation of shared opportunity, shared responsibility, shared prosperity, a shared sense of community. so let's get back to the story. in 2010, as the president's recovery program kicked in, the job losses stopped. and things began to turn around. the recovery act saved or created millions of jobs and cut taxes. let me say this again. cut taxes for 95% of the american people. and in the last 29 months, our economy has produced about 4.5 million private sector jobs. we could have done better but last year the republicans blocked the president's job plan costing the economy more than 1 million new jobs. so here's another job score.
president obama plus 4.5 million. congressional republicans, zero. during this period more than 500,000 manufacturing jobs have been created under president obama. that's the first time manufacturing jobs have increased since the 1990s. and i'll tell you something else. the auto industry restructuring worked. it saved more than 1 million jobs and not just at gm chrysler and their dealerships but in auto parts manufacturing all over the country. that's why even the auto makers who weren't part of the deal supported it. they needed to save those part suppliers too. like i said, we're all in this together.
so what's happened? there are now 250,000 more people working in the auto industry than on the day the companies were restructured. so now we all know that governor romney opposed the plan to save gm and chrysler. so here's another job score. are you listening in michigan and ohio and across the country? here's another job score. obama 250,000, romney 0. the agreement the administration made with the management labor and environmentment groups to
double car mileage, too. it will cut your gas prices in half your gas bill. no matter what the price is, if you double the mileage of your car, your bil will be half of what it would have been it will make us more energy independent. it will cut greenhouse gas emissions and over several analyses it will bring us another half million good new jobs into the american economy. the president's energy strategy which he calls all of the above is helping too. the boom in oil and gas production combined with greater energy efficiency has driven oil imports to a near 20-year low and natural gas production to an all-time high and renewable energy production has doubled. of course, we need a lot more new jobs. but there are already more than
3 million jobs open and unfilled in america. mostly because the people who apply for them don't yet have the required skills to do them. so even as we get americans more jobs, we have to prepare more americans for the new jobs that are actually going to be created. the old economy is not coming back. we've got to build a new one and educate people to do those jobs. the president and his education of secretary have supported employers to work together to train people for jobs that are actually open in their community. and even more important, after a decade in which exploding college costs have increased the dropout rate so much that the percentage of our young people with four-year college
degrees has gone down so much that we have dropped to 16th in the world. in the percentage of young people with college degrees. so the president's student loan reform is more important than ever. here's what it does. you need to tell every voter where you live about this. it lowers the cost of federal student loans, and even more important it gives students the right to repay those loans as a clear fixed low percentage of their income for up to 20 years. now, what does this mean? think of it. it means no one will ever have to drop out of college again for fear they can't renare debt. and it means that if someone wants to take a job with a
modest income, a teacher, police officer, if they want to be a small town doctor in a little rule area, they won't have to turn those jobs down because they don't pay enough to repay the debt. their debt obligation will be determined by their salary. this will change the future for young americans. i don't know about you, but all these issues i know we're better off because president obama made the decisions he did. now, that brings me to health care. now, the republicans call it obama care. they say it's a government takeover, a disaster, and that if we'll just elect them they'll repeal it.
well, are they right? let's take a look at what's actually happened so far. first, individuals and businesses have already gotten more than $1 billion in refunds from insurance companies because the law requires 80 to 85% of your premiums to go to health care not profits or promotions. and the gains are even greater than that because a bunch of insurance companies have applied to lower their rates to comply with the requirement. check it. more than 3 million young people between 19 and 25 are insured for the first time because their parents' policies can cover them. third. millions of seniors are receiving preventive care, all
the way from breast cancer screenings to heart problems and other things. and younger people are getting them soon. fourth, soon the insurance companies will have millions of new customers, many of them middle class people with preexisting conditions who never could get insurance before. now, finally, listen to this. for the last two years, after going up at three times the rate of inflation for the decade, for the last two years health care costs have been under 4% in both years for the first time in 50 years. so let me ask you something. are we better off because president obama fought for health care reform?
you bet we are. now, there were two other attacks on the president in tampa i think deserve an answer. first, both governor romney and congressman ryan attacked the president for allegedly robbing medicare. of $716 billion. that's the same attacks they leveled against congress in 2010 and they got a lot of votes on it. but it's not true. look, here's what really happened. you be the judge. here's what really happened. there were no cuts to benefits at all. none. what the president did was to save money by taking the recommendations of a commission of proyegsals, to cut unwarranted subsidies to providers and insurance companies that were not making people healthier and were not necessary to get the providers
to provide the service. and instead of raiding medicare, he used the savings to close the done nut hole in the medicare drug program and -- you've all got to listen carefully because this is really important. and to add eight years to the medicare trust fund so it is solvent to 2024. so president obama and the democrats didn't weaken medicare. they strengthened medicare. now, when congressman ryan looked into that tv camera and attacked president obama's medicare savings as, quote, the biggest, coldest power play, i
didn't know whether to laugh or cry. because that $716 billion is exactly to the dollar the same amount of medicare savings that he had in his own budget. you've got to get one thing. it takes some brass to attack a guy for doing what you did. now, you're having a good time but this is getting serious and i want you to listen. it's important. because a lot of people believe
this stuff. now, at least on this issue and this one issue, governor romney has been consistent. he attacked president obama too. but he actually wants to repeal the savings and give the money back to the insurance companies. he wants to go back to the old system which means we'll reopen the donut hole and force seniors to pay more for drugs and we'll reduce the life of the medicare trust fund by 8 full years. so if he is elected and if he does what he promised to do, medicare will now go broke in 2016. think about that. that means after all we won't have to wait until the voucher program kicks in in 2023.
the end of medicare as we know it. they're going to do it to us sooner than we thought. now, folks this is serious because it gets worse. and you won't be lag when i finish telling you this. they also want to block grant medicaid and cut it by a third over the coming 10 years. of course, that's going to really hurt a lot of poor kids. but that's not all. a lot of folks don't know it but nearly two thirds of medicaid is spent on nursing home care for medicare seniors who are eligible for medicaid. it's going to end medicare as we know it. and a lot of that money is also spent to help people with disabilities. including a lot of middle class
families whose kids have down's syndrome or autism or other severe conditions. and honestly, just think about it. if that happens, i don't know what those families are going to do. so i know what i'm going to do. i'm going to do everything i can to see that it doesn't happen. we can't let it happen. we can't. now, wait a minute. let's look at the other big charge that republicans made. it's a real doozy.
they actually have charged and run ads saying that president obama wants to weaken the work requirements and the welfare bill i signed that moved millions of people from welfare to work. wait. you need to know here's what happened. nobody ever tells you what really happened. here's what happened. when some republican governors ask if i f they could have waivers to try new ways to put people on welfare back to work, the obama administration listened because we all know it's hard for even people with good work histories to get jobs today. so moving folks from welfare to work is a real challenge. and the administration agreed to give waivers to those governors and others only if they had a credible plan to increase employment by 20% p
and they could keep the waivers only if they did increase employment. now, did i make myself clear? the requirement was for more work, not less. so this is personal to me. we moved millions of people off welfare. it was one of the reasons that in the eight years i was president we had 100 times as many people move out of the welfare into the middle class. it's a big deal. but i am telling you the claim that president obama weakened welfare reforms work requirement is just not true. but they keep on running ads claiming it. you want to know why? their campaign posters said we are not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers.
finally i can say that is true. [applause] i could not have said it better myself. [laughter] i hope you and every american within the sound of my voice remembers it every time they see one of those ads and it turns into an ad to reelect barack obama and keep the fundamental principles of personal empowerment and moving everyone into work as soon as we can. [applause] let's talk about the debt. today, interest rates are low. people are practically paying us to borrow money. it will become a big problem
when the economy grows and interest rates start to rise. we have to deal with this big long-term debt problem or it will deal with us. it will gobble up a bigger and bigger percentage of federal government that we would spend on education and health care and science and technology. we have to do with it. what has the president done. he has offered a reasonable plan of $4 trillion in debt reduction over a decade. with $2.50 trillion, with every $2.50 trillion in spending cuts, he raises. that is the kind of balanced approach proposed by the simpson bowls commission, a bipartisan commission.
i think this plan is way better than governor romney's plan. first, the romney plan fails the first test of fiscal responsibility. the numbers do not add up. [applause] consider this. what would you do? we have a big debt problem and we have to reduce the debt. to reduce the debt, we will have another $5 trillion in tax cuts, heavily weighted to upper income people. we will make that hole bigger before we start to get out of it. what will you do about this $5 trillion you added on? they say we will make it up by eliminating loopholes in the tax code. then you ask, which ones and how much? they say, see me after the election. see me about that after the election.
i am not making it out. people ask me how we got for surplus budgets in a row. what new ideas did we bring to washington? i always give one answer. arithmetic. [applause] arithmetic. if they stay with this $5 trillion tax cut plan in a debt reduction plan, the arithmetic tells us, no matter what they say, one of three things is about to happen. one, assuming they tried to do what they say they will do, get rigid cover it by cutting those deductions, one, they will have
to eliminate so many reductions that middle-class families will see their tax bills go up an average of $2,000. anyone who makes $3 million or more sees their tax bill go down. or, two, they will have to cut so much spending that they will obliterate the budget for the national parks for insuring clean air, clean water, say food, they will cut on college loans, early childhood education, child nutrition programs, all the programs that help to empower middle-class families and help poor kids. they will cut back on investments in roads and bridges and science and technology and biomedical research, that is what they will do. they will hurt the middle class and the poor and with the future on hold to give tax cuts to upper income people who have been getting it all along.
or, three, in spite of all of the rhetoric, they will do what they have been doing for more than 30 years. they will cut the taxes way more than they cut spending, especially with that big defense increase, and they will just exploded the debt and weaken the economy and they will let interest gobble what your tax payments. do not ever forget when you hear them talk about it that republican economic policies quadruple the national debt before i took office, in the 12 years before i took office, and doubled the debt in the eight years after i left. because it defied arithmetic. [applause]
it was a highly inconvenient thing for them in our debates that i was just a country boy from arkansas and i came from a place where people still thought two plus two is four. [applause] it is arithmetic. we simply cannot afford to give the reins of government to someone who will double down on trickle-down. [applause] think about this. president obama, president obama's plan cuts the debt, honors our values, bright as the future of our children, families, and nations. it is a heck of a lot better. it passes the arithmetic test. it passes the values test, far more importantly. [applause] my fellow americans, all of us
in this grand hall and everybody watching at home, when we vote in this election, we will be deciding what country we want to live in. if you want a winner-take-all, "you are on your own" society, you should support the republican ticket. if you want a country of shared opportunities and shared responsibility, a "we are all in this together" society, you should vote for barack obama and joe biden. [cheers and applause] if you want america, if you want every american to vote, and you think it is wrong to change voting procedures, just to
reduce the turnout of younger, poorer, minority, voters. you should support barack obama. [applause] if you think the president was right to open the doors of american opportunity to all those immigrants brought here whenever young so they can serve in the military are go to college, you must vote for barack obama. [applause] if you want a future of shared prosperity, where the middle class is growing and poverty is declining, where the american dream is alive and well and where the united states maintains its leadership as a
force for peace, and justice, and prosperity, in this highly competitive world, you have to vote for barack obama. [applause] look, i love our country so much and i know we are coming back. for more than 200 years, through every crisis, we have always come back. people have predicted our demise ever since george washington was criticized for being mediocre with a bad set of wooden false teeth. we always come back. we come through every fire a little stronger and a little better. and we do it because, in the end, we decide to champion the cause for which our founders pledged their lives, their
fortunes, their sacred honor. the cause of forming a more perfect union. [applause] my fellow americans, if that is what you want, if that is what you believe, you must vote and you must reelect president barack obama. god bless you and god bless america. [cheers and applause] ♪ [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] ♪ don't stop thinking about tomorrow don'e stop ♪ ♪ you can stand me up at the gates of hell, but i won't back
next, highlight from the final day. first, former rep gabrielle giffords aleading the pledge. former gov. granholm. then president obama. the candidates meet in three 90 minutes even. the first is from the university of denver followed by the candidates answering questions in new york. on tuesday, october 16th. the final debate is in florida and on monday, october 22nd. the presidential debates, live on c-span, c-span radio, and c- span.org. >> levy and gentlemen, please welcome former congresswoman gabrielle giffords accompanied by congress woman debbie wasserman shultz to lead us in
governor jennifer granholm. [applause] >> good evening. granholm from the great state of michigan where the trees are just the right height. let me tell you a story about the dark days in my home state. towards the end of my time as governor, ford closed one of its biggest factories, and and they had employed over the years thousands in neighborhoods near and worlds away from the place where romney was raised. closeord's decision to the factory ship, i went down to the local union hall. it was almost empty. a few workers were milling about in a state of shock and grief.
i spoke to a 45-year-old guy who told me this is the only place i've ever worked. i've been loyal. i've done everything they have never asked. and just like that, it's gone. he looked around the hall and he said, "governor, is it over for us? is the american model industry dead? >> at that moment, i just did not know. but that was just the beginning. when the financial crisis hit, things got worse and fast. the entire auto industry and the lives of over 1 million hard- working americans teetered on the edge of collapse and with it the entire manufacturing sector of this country. we looked everywhere for help. almost nobody had the guts to help us. not the banks, not the private
investors, and not bain capital. [applause] but in 2009, the caliber rear ride. in -- the calgary arrived in the form of president obama. he organized rescue. he made the tough calls. he saved the american auto industry. you know, romney saw the same crisis. you know what he said? let detroit go bankrupt. sure. romney loves our lakes, our trees. he loves our car is so much of the even have their own elevator. the people who design, build,
and sell those cars, in romney's world, the cars get the elevator and the workers get the shaft. [applause] you know what that says? romney says that his business experience qualifies him to be president. good for him. maybe i should say, good for him, but how did he make that fortune and at whose expense? too often he made it at the expense of middle class americans year after year. it was profit before people. president obama, with the auditor rescue, you know he saved more than 1 million
american jobs. hey, hey, hey. it was not just michigan, my friends. in colorado, it saved more than 9000 jobs. in virginia, more than 19,000 jobs. in north carolina, 25,000 jobs. in wisconsin, 28,000 jobs. in pennsylvania, 34,000 jobs. in florida, 35,000 jobs. in ohio, 150,000 jobs. and in the great state of michigan, 211,000 jobs saved. these are american jobs. but jobs all across america.
manufacturing is back. [applause] >> usa, usa, usa, usa! >> when romney said to lead detroit go bankrupt, who took the wheel? barack obama. when america was losing 750,000 jobs per month, who gave us a lift? barack obama. when american markets broke down, who jump started our engine? barack obama. when america needed it most, who got us rolling again on the road
to recovery? america, we need to rev up our engines, in your car and in your balance. the d is for driver for word. the are is to put it in reverse. -- the "r" is for reverse. we're driving forward, not back. let's reelect the great president, barack obama. [applause] ♪ >> ladies and gentlemen, please welcome senator john kerry of massachusetts.
[applause] >> thank you. thank you. in this campaign, we have a fundamental choice. will we protect our country and our allies, advance our interests, do battle where we must, and make peace where we can? or will we entrust our place in the world to someone just has not learned the lessons of the last decade? we have all learned romney does not know much about foreign policy. he has all of these neocon advisers who know all the wrong things about foreign policy. he would rely on them. after all, he is the great out sourcer. i say to you, this is not the
time to outsource the job of commander in chief. our opponents like to talk about american exceptional muslim, but all they do is talk. they forget that we are exceptional not because we say we are, but because we do exceptional things. we break out of the great depression, win two world wars, save lives fighting aids, the pen that -- defend freedom, go to the moon, and produce exceptional people who give their lives for civil rights and human rights. despite what you heard in tampa of, an exceptional country does care about the rise of the oceans and the future of the planet. [applause] that is a responsibility from
the scriptures. that, too, is a responsibility of the leader of the free world. the only thing exceptional about today's republicans is that almost without exception, they oppose everything that has made america exceptional in the first place. an exceptional nation demands exceptional leadership. it demand leadership of an exceptional president. my fellow americans, the president is barack obama. just measure the disaster and disarray that he inherited, a word of choice in iraq becoming a war without end. a war of necessity becoming a war of neglect. our alliances were shredded, our moral authority in tatters. america was isolated in the
world. our military was stretched to the breaking point. i ran marching towards a nuclear weapon unchecked and osama bin laden was still plodding. it took president obama to make america lead like america again. it took president obama to restore our moral authority. it took president obama to ban torture. the president understands that our values do not limit our part -- power but magnify it. it is a strategic part of america. president obama kept his promises. he promised to end the war in iraq and he has. our heroes have come home. he promised to end the war in afghanistan responsibly and he
is. our heroes are coming home. he promised to focus like a laser on al qaeda, and he has. our forces have eliminated more of their leadership in the past three years than the all eight years that came before it. after more than 10 years without justice for thousands of americans murdered on 9/11, after romney said it would be not leave to go into pakistan to pursue the terrorists, it took president obama, against the advice of any, to give that order and finally rid of this earth of osama bin laden. [applause]
ask osama bin laden if he is better off now than he was four years ago. [applause] barack obama promised to always stand with israel, to tighten sanctions on iran and take nothing off the table. again and again, the other side has lied about where this president stands and what this president has done, but prime minister netanyahu set the record straight. he said our two countries have exactly the same policy. our security cooperation is unprecedented. when it comes to israel, my friends, i will take the word of the israeli prime minister over romney any day. [applause] president obama promised to work
with russia to reduce the threat of nuclear weapons and signed a historic treaty that does just that. he promised to lock down nuclear materials around the world than he has done just that. he refused to except the false choice between diplomacy without force and force without diplomacy. when a brutal dictator said he was going to kill his own people, we can lessen our allies, built a coalition, and shared the burden so that today, without a single american casualty, wal-mart gaddafi is gone -- muammar gaddahfi si gone and teh people of libya are free. the one side, we have a president who has led america
again. what is there on the other side? the most inexperienced foreign- policy to some to run a president and vice president in decades. it is not fair to say romney does not have a position on afghanistan. he has every position. he was against setting a date for withdrawal. then he said it was right. then he left the impression that maybe it was wrong to leave so soon. he said it was tragic to leave iraq and then said it was fine. he said we should have intervened in libya sooner. then he ran away from reporters asking questions. then he said the intervention was to aggressive. then he said the world was a better place because of the
intervention succeeding. talk about being for this before you are against it. [applause] mr. romney, here is a little of advice. before you debate barack obama on foreign policy, you better finish the debate with yourself. [applause] president mitt romney, 3 hypothetical words that mystified and alienated our allies this summer. an overseas trip -- that's what you call it. when you strip all of your sold
overseas. -- trip all over yourself. it was not a goodwill mission. it was a blooper reel. but a romney-ryan foreign-policy would be anything but funny. we have worked for nuclear arms control, but not romney. kissinger, baker, paul, rise, president bush, 71 senators all supporting president obama is a new start treaty, but not romney. he has even pointed out the preposterous notion that russia is our number one political foe. sarah palin said she could see russia from her house. romney talks about like he has only seen a rush job -- russia by watching "rocky iiiv."
[applause] is the choice in 2012. romney, out of choice at home, out of his death abroad, and out of the mainstream. her barack obama, a president giving new life and truth to the world. a commander in chief to give the tools and tips we need in war and the honor and help they deserve when they come home. a man -- [applause] a man who will never ask other men and women to fight a war without a plan to win the peace. [applause] let me say something else.
known nominee for president should ever fail in the midst of a war to pay tribute to our troops overseas in his acceptance speech. they are on the front lines every day defending america and they deserve our thanks. [applause] >> at usa, usa, usa. >> some of us from a prior more remember coming home is not always easy. -- from a prior war know it's not easy. we should welcome our troops home with a respect they deserve.
that is how an exceptional nations as thank you to their most exceptional men and women. romney says he believes in america and that he will restore american exceptional muslim. i have news for him. we already have an exceptional american as president. we believe in barack obama. thank you and god bless america. [applause] ♪ [applause]
thank you. thank you very much, everybody. thank you. michelle, i love you so much. a few nights ago, everybody was reminded of just what a lucky man i am. [cheers and applause] melia and sasha, we are so proud of the. -- of you. [applause] yes, you do have to go to school in the morning. [laughter]
the first time i addressed this convention in 2004, i was a younger man. a senate candidate from illinois who spoke about hope. not blind optimism, but hope in the face of difficulty. hope in the face of uncertainty. that faith in the future that pushed this nation forward even when the odds are great. even when the road is long the. eight years later, that hope has been tested. tested by the cost of war, one of the worst economic crises in history, and by political gridlock that left us wondering if it is possible to tackle the challenges of our time.
i know campaigns can seem small and even silly at times. trivial things become big distractions. serious issues become sound bites. the truth gets buried under an avalanche of money and advertising. if you are sick of hearing me approve this message, believe me, so am i.. [applause] when all is said and done, when you pick up the ballot to vote, you will face the clearest choice of any time in a generation. over the next few years, the decisions will be made in washington on jobs, the economy, taxes and deficits. energy, education, war and peace. decisions that will have a huge
impact on our lives and on our children's lives for decades to come. on every issue, the choice you face will not be between two candidates or parties. it will be a choice between two different paths for america. two fundamentally different visions for the future. ours is a fight to restore the values that built the largest middle-class and the strongest economy the world has ever known. [applause] the values my grandfather defended as a soldier. the values that grow my grandmother to work on a bomber assembly line while he was gone. they knew they were part of something larger. a nation that triumphed over fascism and a depression. a nation where the most innovative businesses turned out the world's best products. everybody shared in the pride and success. my grandparents were given the
chance to go to college by their own home, and fulfil the basic bargain at the american story. responsibility will be rewarded. everybody gets a fair shot. everybody plays by the same rules from main street to wall street to washington, d.c. [applause] i ran for president because i saw that basic bargain slipping away. i began my career helping people in the shadow of a shuttered steel mill at a time when too many good jobs began to move overseas. by 2008 we saw nearly a decade where families struggle by paychecks that did not rise
with costs that kept rising. people racking up debt to pay the mortgage, tuition, gas in the car, or food on the table. when the house of cards collapsed, millions of innocent americans lost their jobs, homes, life savings, a tragedy from which we are still fighting to recover. now, our friends down in tampa at the republican convention where more than happy to talk about everything they think is wrong with america. they did not have much to say about how they would make their right. they want your vote, but they do not want you to know their plans. that is because all they have to offer is the same prescriptions they have had for the last 30 years. have a surplus? try a tax cut. the deficit too high? try another. feel a cold coming on?
take two tax cuts, rollbacks of regulations and call us in the morning. [cheers and applause] now, i have cut taxes for those who need it. middle-class families, small businesses, but i do not believe another round of tax breaks for millionaires will bring good jobs to the shores or pay down deficits. i do not believe firing teachers or kicking students off of financial aid will help the economy. or help us compete with the scientists and engineers coming out of china. after all we have been through, i do not believe rolling back regulations on wall street will help the small business woman expand or the laid-off construction worker keep his
home. we have been there. we have tried that. we are not going back. we are moving forward, in america. [cheers and applause] i will not pretend the path i am offering is quick or easy. i never have. you did not elect me to tell you what you wanted to hear, you elected me to tell you the truth. [applause] the truth is it will take more than a few years to solve challenges that have built up over decades. it will require shared responsibility and the bold persistent experimentation that franklin roosevelt pursued during the only crisis worse than this one. those of us to carry on his party's legacy should remember not every problem can be remedied from another
government program from washington. know this, america. our problems can be solved. our challenges can be met. the path reoffer may be harder, but it leads to a better place. i am asking you to choose that future. you to rally. and goals in manufacturing, energy, education, national security and the deficit. real achievable plans that will lead to new jobs, more opportunity and rebuild on a stronger foundation. that is what we can do a in the next four years and that is why i am running for a second term as president of the united states. [cheers and applause]
we can choose a future where we export more products and outsource fewer jobs. after a decade that was defined by what we bought and borrowed, we are getting back to basics and doing what america has always done best. we are making things again. i have met workers in detroit and toledo who feared they would never build a another a american car. today they can not rebuild them fast enough because we reinvented an auto industry that is back on top of the world. i have worked with business leaders who are bringing jobs back to a america not because our workers make less pay but because we make better products. we work harder and smarter than anybody else. i signed trade agreements
helping companies sell more goods to millions of customers. goods stamped with three proud words "made in america." [ crowd chanting "usa!"] after a decade of decline, this country created over half of a million of manufacturing jobs in the last two and a half years. now you have a choice. we can get more tax breaks to corporations to ship jobs overseas or reconsider rewarding companies that create new jobs and train new workers here in the united states of america. [cheers and applause] we can help small businesses and big factories to double their
exports. if we choose this path we can create 1 million new manufacturing jobs in the next four years. you can choose that future. you can choose the path where we can control more of our own energy. after 30 years of inaction, we raised fuel standards so by the middle of the next decade cars and trucks will go twice as far on a gallon of gas. [applause] we have doubled our use of renewable energy. thousands of americans have jobs building wind turbines and long-lasting batteries. we have cut will imports by 1 million barrels a day, more than any administration in recent history. today the united states of america is less dependent on the foreign oil than at any time during the past two decades. [cheers and applause]
now, you have a choice between a strategy that reverses the process or one that builds on it. we have to open millions of new acres for oil and gas exploration in the last three years and we will open more. i will not let oil companies right to this country's energy plan or in danger coastlines or collect another $4 billion in corporate welfare from tax payers. we are offering a better path. [cheers and applause] we are offering a better path where we -- a future where we invest in the wind, solar, clean coal, with farmers and scientists tarnishing -- harnessing biofuels. farms and factories that weighs -- waste less energy where we develop 100 years' supply of natural gas right beneath our
feet. we can cut oil imports in half by 2020 and support more than 600,000 new jobs in natural gas alone. [applause] yes, my plan will continue to reduce the carbon pollution heating our planet because climate change is not a hoax. more drought, floods, and wildfires are not a joke. they are a threat to our children's future, and in the selection you can do something about it. -- this election you can do something about it. [cheers and applause] you can choose a future where more americans have a chance to build the skills they need to compete. no matter how old they are or how much money they have.
education was the gateway to opportunity for me. it was the gateway for michelle. it was the gateway for most of you. more than ever, it is the gateway to a middle-class life. for the first time in a generation nearly every state has answered the call to raise the standards in teaching and learning. some of the worst schools have made gains in math and reading. students are paying less for college today because we finally took on a system that wasted billions of taxpayer dollars on the banks and lenders. now you have a choice. weekend that education, or we can decide in the united states of america no child should have dreams deferred because of a crowded classroom or a crumbling school. no family should set aside a college acceptance letter because they do not have the money.
no company should look for workers overseas because they cannot find somebody with the right skills at home. that is not our future. [cheers and applause] a government has a role in this. teachers must inspire. principles must lead. parents must instill a thirst for learning. students, you have to do the work. together i promise you we can out educate and out compete any nation on earth. help me recruit 100,000 a math and science teachers within 10 years and improve early childhood education. help give 2 million workers the chance to learn schools -- skills at their community college that will lead to a better job. help us work with colleges and
universities to cut in half the growth of tuition costs over the next 10 years. we can meet that goal together. you can choose that future for america. [cheers and applause] that is our future. in a world of new threats and new challenges, you can choose leadership that has been tested and proven. four years ago i promise to end the war in iraq. we did. [cheers and applause] we promised to refocus on the terrace to actually attack us on 911, and we have it. we have stopped the taliban's momentum, and in 2014 our longest war will be over. a new tower rises over the new york skyline. osama bin laden is dead.
[cheers and applause] tonight we pay tribute to the americans who still served and harm goes away. we are forever in debt to a generation that made this country safer. we will never forget you. so long as i am commander in chief. we will sustain the strongest military the world has ever known. when you take off the uniform, we will serve you as well as you have served us because nobody who fights for the country should have to fight for a job or a roof over their head or the care that they need when they come home.
[cheers and applause] around the world we have strengthened old alliances and forge new coalitions to stop the spread of nuclear weapons. we reasserted our power across the pacific and stood up to china on behalf of our workers. we have advance the rights and dignity of all human beings, men and women, christians and muslims and jews. terrorist plots must be disrupted. you're opposed the crisis must be contained. our commitment to israel's security must not waver and neither must our pursuit of peace. the iranian government must face a world united against its nuclear ambitions.
the historic change across the arab world must not be defined by the age of extremists but by the hopes and aspirations of ordinary people reaching for the same rights we celebrate here today. now, we have a choice. my opponent and his running mate are new to foreign policy. from all that we have seen and heard, they want to take us back to an era of blustering and blundering that cost america so dearly. you do not call russia our number one enemy unless you are still stuck in a cold war mindset. you might not be ready for diplomacy with beijing if you cannot visit the olympics without insulting our closest
ally. [cheers and applause] my opponent said it was tragic to end the war in iraq. he will not tell us how he will end the war in afghanistan. i have, and i will. while my opponent will spend more money on military hardware and that our joint chiefs do not even want, i will use the money we are no longer spending on were to pay down debt and put more people back to work, rebuilding roads, bridges, and schools. after two wars, over $1 trillion, it is time to do some nation building right here at home. [cheers and applause]
you can choose a future where we reduce our deficit, without sticking it to the middle class. independent experts say my plan would cut the deficit by $4 trillion. last summer i worked with republicans in congress to cut $1 billion of in spending. those of us to believe government can be a force for good should work harder than anybody to reform it so it is leaner, more efficient, and more responsive to the american people. [applause] i want to reform the tax codes so it is simple, fair, and asks the wealthiest households to pay more at over $250,000. the same rate we had when bill clinton was president and our economy created millions of jobs, the biggest surplus in history, and a whole lot of millionaires to boot.
now, i am still eager to reach an agreement based on the principles of my bipartisan debt commission. no party has a monopoly on wisdom. no democracy works without compromise. i want to get this done, and we can get it done. but when gov. romney and his friends in congress tell us, we can lower the deficit by spending trillions more on new tax breaks for the wealthy, well, what did bill clinton call it? you do the arithmetic. you do the math. [applause] i refuse to go along with that. as long as i am president, i never will. [cheers and applause] i refuse to ask middle-class families to give up their deductions for owning a home or raising their kids just to pay for another millionaire's tax cuts.
[cheers] i refuse to ask students to pay more for college or kick children out of head start programs to eliminate health insurance for millions of americans who are poor and elderly or disabled, all so those with the most can pay less. i am not going along with that. [cheers and applause] and i will never turn of medicare into a voucher. [cheers] no american should ever have to spend their golden years at the mercy of insurance companies. they should retire with the care and dignity that they have earned it. yes, we will reform and strengthen medicare for the long call, but we will do it by reducing the cost of health care, not by asking seniors to
pay thousands of dollars more. and we will keep the promise of social security by taking the responsible steps to strengthen it, not by turning it over to wall street. [applause] this is the choice we now face. this is what the election comes down to. over and over we have been told by our opponents that bigger tax cuts and fewer regulations are the only way. since government cannot do everything, it should do almost nothing. if you cannot afford health insurance, hope that you do not get sick. [laughter] if a company releases toxic pollution into the air your children breathe, that is the cost of progress. if you cannot afford to start a business or go to college, take my opponent's advice and borrow
money from your parents. [laughter] [applause] you know what? that is not who we are. that is not what this country is about. as americans we believe we are endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights, rights that no man or government can take away. we insist on personal responsibility and we celebrate individual initiative. we are not entitled to success, we have to earn it. we honor the strivers, the risk takers, the of entrepreneurs who have been the driving force behind the free enterprise system. the greatest engine of growth the world has ever known. but we also believe in something called citizenship. [cheers and applause] citizenship.
a word at the very heart of our founding. a word at the essence of our democracy. the idea that this country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another and to future generations. we believe when a ceo pay is -- automobile workers enough buy the cars they build, the whole company does better. a family is projected to so was the value of other people's homes and so is the economy. we believe the little girl offered any escape from poverty by a great teacher or grant for college could become the next steve jobs, or the president of the united states. it is in our power to give her that chance. [cheers and applause]
we know that churches and charities can often make more of a difference then a poverty program alone. we do not want handouts for those who refuse to help themselves and we do not want bailouts for banks that break the rules. [applause] we do not think government can solve all of our problems. we do not think that the government is the source of all of our problems any more than our welfare recipients or corporations or unions or immigrants or gays or any other group we are told to blame for our troubles. [cheers and applause]
because america, we understand this democracy is ours. we, the people, recognize that we have responsibilities. as well as rights. our destinies are bound together. a freedom that asks only what is in it for me, a freedom without a commitment to others without love or charity or duty or patriotism is unworthy of our founding ideals and those who died in their defense. [cheers and applause] as citizens we understand that america is not about what can be done for us, it is a about what can be done by us, together, through the hard and frustrating but necessary work of self governance.
that is what we believe it. so you see, the election four years ago was not about me. it was about you. [cheers] my fellow citizens, you were the change. [cheers] you are the reason there is a little girl with a heart disorder in phoenix that will get the help she needs because an insurance company will not limit her coverage. you did that. [applause] you are the reason a young man in colorado of who never thought he would be able to afford his dream of earning a medical degree is about to get that chance. you made that possible. [cheers and applause]
you are the reason a young immigrant who went to school here and grew up here and pledged allegiance to our flag will no longer get deported from the only country she has ever called home. [cheers] our soldiers will not be kicked out of the military because of who they are or who they love, how thousands of families have been able to see if loved ones that served as, welcome home. welcome home. you did that. you did that. you did that. if you turn a way now, if you turn away now and you buy into the cynicism that the change we fought for is impossible, well, change will not happen. if you give up on the idea of your voice can make a difference, then other voices will fill the void that. lobbyists, special interests,
people with $10 million checks trying to buy this election and make it harder for you to vote, washington politicians who want to decide who you can marry or control health care choices women should be making for themselves. [cheers and applause] only you can make sure that does not happen. only you have the power to move us forward. you know, i recognize that times have changed since i first spoke at this convention. times have changed, and so have i..
i am no longer just a candidate, i am the president. [cheers and applause] and -- and that means i know what it means to send young americans into battle. i have held in my arms mothers and fathers of those who did not return. i have shared the pain of families who have lost their homes in the frustration of workers who have lost their jobs. if the critics are right that i made all my decisions based on polls, i must not be very good at reading. [laughter] while i am very proud of what we have achieved together, i am
far more mindful of my own feelings, knowing exactly what lincoln meant when he said i have been driven to my knees many times by the overwhelming conviction that i have no place else to go. [applause] but as i stand here tonight, i have never been more hopeful about america. not because i think i have all of the answers, not because i am not naive about the magnitude of the challenges, i am hopeful because of you. the young woman i met at a science fair who won national recognition for her biology research while living with her family and a homeless shelter, she gives me hope. the auto worker who won the lottery after his plant almost closed but kept coming to work every day and bought flags for his whole town. one of the cars he built to
surprise his wife. he gives me hope. [cheers] the family business in minnesota that did not lay off a single one of their 4000 employees when the recession hit, even when their competitors shut down dozens of plants. even when the owner gave up some perks, because they understood the biggest asset was the community and the workers who helped build-business. they gives me hope. [applause]
i think about the young sailor i met at walter reed hospital still recovering from a grenade attack that caused him to have his leg amputated above the knee. give we would watch him walk into a white house dinner honoring those who serve in iraq, a tall, 20 pounds heavier, dashing in his uniform with a big grin on his face, and i remember how i would watch him on a bicycle, racing with his fellow wounded warriors on a sparkling spring day, inspiring other heroes who had just begun the hard path he had to travel. he gives me hope. [applause] he gives me hope. i do not know what party these men and women belong to. i do not know if they will vote for me, but i know their spirit defines us.
they remind me that ours is a future filled with hope, and if you share that faith with me, if you share that hope, i ask you tonight for your vote. [applause] that this nation's promise is reserved for the few. your voice must be heard in this election. if you reject the notion that our government is beholden to the highest bidder, you need to stand up in this election. [cheers] if you believe is a new factories, new energy and power our future, new schools can provide ladders of opportunity to this nation of dreamers, if you believe in a country where everyone gets a fair shot and everyone plays by the same rules, i need you to vote this november. [applause]
america, i never said this journey would be easy, and i will not promise that now. yes, our path is harder, but it leads to a better place. our road is long but we travel it together. we do not turn back to oregon we leave no one behind. we draw strength from our victory, and we learn from our mistakes, and we keep our eyes focused on a distant horizon, knowing that we are blessed to be citizens of the greatest nation on earth on earth. thank you. god bless. god bless each and every state.[applause] ♪
[applause] [applause] >> ♪ i've been knockin' on the door i've been lookin' for the map that leads me home i've been stumblin' on good hearts turned to stone those good intentions have gone dry as bone we take care of our own we take care of our own wherever this flag's flown we take care of our own
>> you can watch every minute of every speech from all the democratic and republican conventions since 1984 online at the c-span video library. just visit c-spanvideo.org. tonight, a couple of campaign rallies. first, paul ryan campaigning friday at a rally in nevada. vice president biden speaking at a high school in ohio. vice-presidential campaign rallies start at 6:30 eastern and we will show them at 9:30 on c-span. before the elections, president obama is finishing up his campaigning in florida with a stop in palm beach. you'll be in las vegas and will stop in denver on thursday.
mitt romney starts the week with a rally in ohio on tuesday. heat goes to the reno and the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attack. next, from this morning's washington journal, we will take a look at campaign 2012 of voter fraud and what our guest considers to be vulnerabilities in the electoral system. host: joining us is john fund, the co-author of a new book. how your vote is being put at risk. we will talk about it at the moment. but first, your assessment of the conventions as mitt romney leaves a tampa. and new hampshire continues. guest: the job of a convention
is to rally your base and present your message. i think both parties to that of effectively. president obama did have, i think, a big lift from bill clinton's speech. the best defense of the obama years you can imagine. however, i think his own speech was subdued. perhaps part the reason it was subdued was we got the jobs numbers the next morning and there were pretty grim. four times the number of people who got jobs in august actually dropped out of the labor force. that is an astonishing number. with the lowest participation rate among men in history and among women since 1981. the president had a good case of his convention, but the economic abuse keep forcing him on the defense. >> where does this campaign go from here?
focusing on five key things. a lot of attention on the debate. will this come down to the upcoming debates? or will there be other factors you're looking at? guest: the debates are important. there are milestones you can look at. the first debate is october 3. what concerns me is we have literally transformed election day into alexian month. do you realize that on friday last, a few days ago, the first ballots went out in north carolina? so many states are early voting and they are early voting earlier. we'll have millions of americans of voting before the first debate is held. i think that is appalling. imagine if you're suing some over a civil case and it was important to you. imagine if it was the final statement by your lawyer and jurors got up, walked out, and said they had enough. we are having more and more
people voting by convenience. it is fine if you're a legitimate excuse. i do not think it should be the norm. by the way, it also is all these early boats, they become paper because they are ballots. the delay the recording of the vote. whisht of as much as possible on election day. host: we can go back to your book in a moment. if you look at the polling, it is less than 10%. some say it is as low as 6% or 7% in this election. guest: if you point out the swing states, mitt romney is running ads in eight states. obama in attend. if you take the 6% or 7% of people who are undecided average down to the states, you're probably talking all these millions of dollars in ads being fought over maybe two%, 3%, or 4% of the population. host: in your book you point out
this. the recount was more than a national embarrassment. -- embarrassment. it left a lasting scar. many are convinced that politicians cannot be trusted to play by the rules and were either commit fraud or intimidate voters at the slightest opportunity. the level of suspicion has grown dramatically. it threatens to undermine the political system. resaw a national scar. it was 47 days of uncertainty that we did not know who the president is going to be. there was suspicion endanger on both sides. that was in one state because the vote was so close. what i fear is of the polls are accurate and this will be as close as it looks, we now have much more scrutiny of the election process. there are 10,000 lawyers out there for both parties scrutinizing the election. i think we can see florida-style
recounts and uncertainty in three, four, or five states. if we may not know the president is the day after the election. and just like with florida. because of the role of lawyers in the election process, we no longer need candidates to win in a margin of victory. the need to win with a margin beyond litigation. that is sad. i think there are steps we can do to minimize that between now and election, which is partly why i wrote the book with my coat-author. host: some critics have cleared -- have claimed charges are exaggerated. guest: we need to reduce the blunders that can lead to uncertainty. and secondly, the voter fraud is a real issue. it is interesting. bill clinton made a speech last wednesday night in which he attacked efforts to minimize voter fraud and improve the integrity of the election. did you know that three hours before he gave that speech, a
democratic state legislator, a councilman in west memphis, and a police official were all convicted of 45 counts of voter fraud? it is astonishing that bill clinton did up and say, we do not need to protect against voter fraud when his own home state, there is a big scandal brewing. more indictments may be coming. host: what prompted you to write the book? guest: i witnessed a recount of a state legislation in california. i witnessed a voter fraud with my very eyes. people always asking, why did you do something? i said, it was the authorities were doing the fraud. ever since that i thought we had two civil rights. one is to assure no one is intimidate or prevented from of voting. we fought a great deal for that. we to preserve and extend those.
but it is a second cellaret that every one of your viewers have. it is to make sure that you're voted not cancel out and you're not disenfranchised by having someone vote who is not eligible, is dead. people on the voter registration polls according to the pew research center. look, i believe we should honor the dead but shouldn't have representation without respiration. if those people vote it reduces confidence in the election and we may see a selection in which the elections were won by a candidate who wasn't elected by the majority of the people voting. >> if you did commit a crime, if you did serve your tile and you're out, should you be able to vote again? guest: the constitution leaves that to all 50 states to make individual judgments. some states like virginia have very, very tough laws against felon voting, mississippi is another example.
some of those are too tough. some states i think are too lax, and maine allows people serving time in jail to vote. i think that's too lenient. each state makes up that decision. the bottom line is the law is the law. whatever the state says about felon voting should be honored, and we have an example of how that i think that distorted on election. in minnesota 2008, al franken won a senate race from norm coleman, the seat was declared vacant for eight months, franken was seated after the 312 vote margin. after the election minnesota watchdog group had definitive evidence that 1100 felons voted illegally in that election. we don't know for sure how they voted because it's a secret ballot but when fox news interviewed a bunch of them, nine out of 10 vote fod franken, academic studies show they routinely vote democratic, bottom line, those felons shifted probably the result of the election and that had tremendous consequences, steve. i mean, omabacare passed in
2009 in the senate with no votes to spare. it had 60 votes, just enough to break the filibuster. that means we got omabacare. we would not have had omabacare in its current form without al franken's vote, that vote was in dispute as to whether or not he should have been seated. since then we've had the courts look at these cases of felons voting. you couldn't prosecute any felons who said look i made a mistake, i didn't know what i was doing, you couldn't prove intent. you had to be stupid enough if you were a felon voting illegally to say yeah, i voted illegally, i know what i was doing, what's it to you copper. you know what, we've had almost 200 felons convicted of voting illegally in that election, another 66 in the pipeline, dozens more being investigated. steve, it is possible we could get to a point where more people were convicted illegally of voting in that al franken election than the margin of victory. >> stephen rosenfeld wrote about your book, he says as you indicate that al franken did win by 312 votes out of
2.4 million cast but he also looked back at past issues of voting fraud in minnesota. he points out in 2009, there were 14 voter fraud convictions, in 2010, there were 11, the court records do not say when or which elections before 2008 and of course al franken wining in 2008, but those are small numbers, a dozen or so compared to the high numbers they're -- you're pointing to. >> most of the convictions were in 2010 or 2011. bottom line is they happened. they're documented. now, a lot of these things that -- a lot of these studies that reportedly say there are almost no voter fraud convictions, steve, those look at federal state statistic, federal courts, state courts. we have 356 counties, almost all voter fraud prosecutions are at the county level. i can assure you there are a significantly higher number of voter fraud elections in the county level than the federal and state level and the bottom line is this,
voter fraud is like the tip of the iceberg. 1/10 above the surface, 9/10 below the surface. we don't catch all of it. look at easy it is to commit voter fraud. absentee ballot, very easily. we've had scandal after scandal on that. we had a alabama himer patient, people helping them fill out ballots without much input from them. also impersonation fraud. it's rare but easily done. if you voted for a dead person, the dead are not likely to complain. we saw in may, eric holder, attorney general of the united states who says voter i.d. laws are like the poll tax, he had a 22-year-old white kid with a beard and ear i think walk into the polling place and say do you have an eric holder at such and such an address, he was handed that ballot. he didn't vote, that would
have been a crime but that shows you how easily someone can vote if you don't have them show i.d., don't clean up the voter polls. the pew research center, steve, liberal organization, says one out of eight voter registrations in this country are either invalid or have serious errors in them. that's unacceptable. it's the democratic bungling that can lead to a florida-style meltdown that i want to avoid. host: john fund is a columnist for national review, author of "who's counting, how fraudsters and bureaucrats put your vote at risk". before we get to the calls, would you agree that there are problems on both sides, both democrats and republicans in florida? guest: oh sure. let me gy you an example. there was a private company contracted by the florida secretary of state to weed out felon voters who weren't eligible to vote and it turns out the last was inaccurate in some cases and some people were prevented from voting. but a larger number, according to the palm beach
post of the miami herald which did an extensive investigation, a larger number of felons who shouldn't have voted did vote. over 3000, apparently. and in a state where 537 votes divided al gore from george bush, both of those problems are very serious. they reduce confidence in the election. now we've seen that play again in florida this year, republican governor rick scott said look, i want to clean up the voter registration rolls of noncitizens so we had a case in fort myers where a local tv station, nbc affiliate found there were over 100 people in one county that said i can't serve on a jury because i'm a noncitizen but had registered to vote and in some cases voted. they want to clean up the voter registration rolls. they don't have the best information. so they went to the obama administration and said please give us your records, they were required to surrender those records, they didn't do it.
there was a long court case, finally they gave the records over. this is an example of why this is needlessly polarized. we should agree on basic facts. we should make it easy to vote and hard to cheat. we can do both. we're america. sadly, we have i think two sides that seem to be talking past each other when the common sense, good government approach is let's streamline the voting process, reduce bureaucratic bundling and also make it charter -- hardtory cheat because there is cheating out there. i can give y example after example. in madison county, florida, the election supervisor has been indicted for election fraud, troy, new york, the election city clerk was indicted for voter fraud. this happens over and over in this country and we can stop it if we take common sense steps. hess host june fund, joining us from new york, also on twitter, c-span/wj. marilyn, our line for democrats, good morning, thank you for waiting. caller: yes, good morning and
thank you c-span. mr. fund, you know, what i noticed about the 2000 elections is that "the washington post" had a wonderful on the brooks better alliance. are you familiar with that? because that was when republican aides and staff flew down to florida and deliberately misrepresented themselves to shut the recount down and i don't know about you, but i vote in maryland and we have a lot of precincts that are set up to vote in, and it would be very, very hard, since we go to church with -- we go to pta meetings with. so i don't understand all of this with the fake i.d. and
voting because there is a difference, sir, between voter registration and actually showing up at the polls. host: thank you for the call and john fund, your response. guest: well, i agree that most of the voter fraud in this country is absentee ballots but voter impersonation can certainly take place and it's very easy. bottom line in maryland there is nothing preventing you from voting in any precinct in the state and even though there's a list, you can county in one county and next day be in the next county and vote there. maryland laws are loosey goosy. yes, there's a lot of dispute on both sides about what happened in florida. there were protests led by jesse jackson who was demand thank only a few counties recount their votes, not the whole state, there were people flown down to protest that the recount was happening properly but nun of the officials said they were influenced by the protests, whether from the left or right. what does remain is the bitterness and anger which i
want to avoid because if this election is as close as 2000 we're going to see florida-style meltdowns in more than one state and this dispute could go on at least as long as florida did. host: john fund, joins us from new york. steve on the phone from bellingham, washington, good morning. caller: good morning. my question is washington state -- i heard one of the comments saying we should have voter day, not voter month and all of washington and all of oregon has turned to a mail ballot system. i was wondering what you think about it. i support one day myself. but wondering what you think about that. guest: my sister lives in oregon and she finds it strange that if she votes up on election day to vote, there are no polls. oregon's system hasn't gone up, the center for the study of the american electorate has shown that. i think the oregon system is flawed because there is really a lack of ballot security, there's a lack of chain of custody in the
ballots collected at the voter collection centers where people can drop off the bail-in ballots rather than mail them and where they're delivered. in addition, you know, all of these ballots are sent in by the postoffice. i don't want to denigrate the postoffice but let's just say it doesn't have the finest reputation for delivering 100 percent of the mail accurately and in a close election a few votes that aren't delivered properly through the postoffice, well, that could swing the election. in addition, if you have every ballot cast mail in, you can't take into account last minute debates, last minute scandals. in 1992, bob packwood won in oregon, even though 10 days before the election, a big scandal broke in the portland oregonian about his horrible relations with women, how he had mistreated them and harassed them. well, it turns out that it is possible, because so many votes were cast early in oregon even back then that he won because the people who had cast their votes early
not knowing about the scandal couldn't take their votes back. so i think that the early voting is fine if you have a legitimate reason, but extending it now to a point where north carolina is already voting, iowa is about to vote, i think that's just wrong, because it cuts off the debate and the real 10or and point of the campaign, which is to try to present the evidence to people and convince them to vote for one candidate or the other. host: should they move the voting day from say tuesday to a sunday? guest: well sunday i think you'd have real religious objections. saturday is the day that's most talked about, and even there you'd have some religious objections from orthodox jews. look, that's a point that andrew young, the former mayor of atlanta, has talked about, moving the voting day to increase participation. i'm open to that. but it would require a wholesale change. i think we have to talk about what's possible in the near term because we're facing an election in 60 days, and something like that would take years to implement. host: let me have you listen to what the attorney general eric holder said as he spoke before the congressional black caucus this past may on
the issue of voter fraud and also voter identification. >> [video clip] >> we're also working to uphold the integrity of the system and i want to be clear, no form of fraud has been or ever will be tolerated by this administration, this justice department. >> [applause] >> from my early days as trial attorney, the justice department's public integrity section i've been proud to respond to the front lines and i understand the importance of prosecuting cases whenever they arise. i also know firsthand what so many studies and assessments have shown, that making voter registration easier is not likely by itself to make our elections more susceptible to fraud, and while responsible parties on all sides of this debate have acknowledged that in-person voting fraud is uncommon, any allegation of
its occurrence is and will continue to be taken seriously. ho owes your reaction to the comments of the attorney general. guest: well, very high minded and commendable but unfortunately the facts argue against him. julie fernandez, a top official in the justice department has been quoted as telling fellow colleagues of the justice department we're not going to enforce certain laws designed to crack down on voter fraud and voter imperfections because we're not interested in that. look, the federal government gives money to the states to clean up voting machines and voting systems. as part of the deal they're suppose to make sure the voter registration rolls are as accurate as possible. missouri refused to clean up the voter registration rolls. there were 40 counties where there were more people registered to vote than adults over the age of 18. the bush administration sued missouri saying you have to clean up your voter registration rolls. they were on the verge of winning that case when the obama administration took office and they dropped that case against missouri. suddenly. just like they dropped the new black panther voter intimidation case almost completely.
and ever since then, the obama administration has shown no interest in impacting voter fraud, instead they've tried to block voter i.d. laws that are supported by 74 percent of the american people, according to the latest "washington post" poll, including 65 percent of african-americans. look, voter i.d. is common sense. you have to have voter i.d. to buy sudafed, get married, travel, enter a federal building, to talk to eric holder. bottom line, voter i.d. is something that is part of every american's daily life. there may be a few people who don't have a photo i.d. or a government-issued i.d. i say let's get them one. andrew young whom i quoted earlier, mayor of atlanta, former u.n. ambassador, confidante of martin luther king, he says if you don't have an i.d. in this life, in america, you can't participate in american life fully, you can't travel, cash a check, collect welfare benefits. let's get people an i.d. and the number is far smaller than people who claim, like the brennan summer -- center, that 25 percent of
african-americans don't have an i.d. that is patronizing, ridiculous, and if will people who don't have an i.d., all the laws say there should be a free one. georgia tries to send out mobile vans and get people an i.d. i say let's have everyone have an i.d., everyone participate, but also an i.d. will show that you are who you say you are, because look, there are 2 million dead people on the voter rolls of this country according to the pew research center that argues against eric holder's statement that voter registration fraud can't lead to voter fraud. you can vote in the name of a dead person easily. they're not going to complain. and you'll never know about it. this could be a problem of very significant proportions and there's no way of knowing unless someone confesses. host: alice has this point related to everything we've been talking about, john fund. how many people in the u.s. are eligible to vote but don't? i hope you're working even harder to get those people to
the polls. i think the last general election, 2008, only about half of eligible voters in fact cast their ballots. guest: well, 61 percent voted in the 2008 presidential election, of all eligible voters, that was the highest since 1964, so we saw a real uptick last time. part of it because of the enthusiasm the obama campaign generated and the historic nature of having the first african-american elected president. i want everyone to vote. it's very easy to vote. you can vote by filling out a postcard and mailing it in, you can vote by absentee ballot by sending in a postcard and requesting an absentee ballot. in many states you can vote early, in some states, you can vote right now, and so it's easy to vote and i encourage people to vote. but i want people to vote who are legitimate voters. and i don't want to color the election with a cloud of suspicion that i think damaged the bush administration after it came into office in 2001 because of all of the hubbub about the florida recount. i don't want that to happen with the next president,
whether it's romney or barack obama serve ago second term. host: let me go back to your book and there's one point i want you to elaborate on and this is based on "a dirty little secret" in which you pound out who's counting, this, republican-based voters are middle class and not easily induced to commit fraud while, quote, the pool of people who appear to be veil and more vulnerable to an invitation to participate in vote fraud tend to lean democrat". >> larry sabato makes an important point, is that voter fraud can happen in both parties. i don't think either party has the monopoly in honesty. political parties have power, they can tempt people to stray whatever party they're in, but there used to be republican machines, chicago, philadelphia in the 1950s, long island, new york until about 10 years those and those republican machines did steal votes but those republican machines have collapsed, they've been replaced by democratic machines in many cases and they steal votes now.
chicago is infamous, philadelphia is infamous, st. louis is infamous. in those machine cities the saddest victims of voter fraud are minority members of that society, that suffer from bad public schools, bad roads, bad services, and they try to change the system and city hall steals the votes from them. davis, the former democratic congressman from alabama, seconded barack obama's nomination for 2008, although two weeks ago he spoke at the republican convention saying he's now favoring mitt romney, but he has told me as former democratic congressman representing the place in selma, alabama where all of the voting rights struggles started, what he told me is there are political machines in counties in alabama that routinely steal votes and they keep minority voters down. they're often machines run by minority voters, sometimes run by white machine politician and they basically destroy the right to vote and he said look, i know that the voter fraud happens in my
area. that's real voter suppression, when you have people trying to change their government and have the vote stolen out from under them. voter suppression can happen in two ways, it can mean we're preventing you from voting and stealing enough votes that you can't change the involvement -- the government, no matter how bad it is. host: john on the line from lancaster, pennsylvania, good morning. caller: good morning steve. this is the best example i've seen maybe in a year of the need for you guys to have more 2-person panels. this fella is throwing out fact after fact after fact just burying us with stuff. who knows if it's anecdotal, if it's true. he appears on fox news. does he appear on msnbc, cbs? >> guest: yes. sir, i was on face the nation a month ago on pbs, face the nation. caller: steve can you tell him to be quiet for a second? he has come up with all these reasons. now let's look at what's gone on with voting. i mean, alec, the american legislative exchange council,
has been trying to do this for years. and they're behind the scenes on a lot of this stuff, people aren't aware of it. it's c-span's job to bring this out. that's why we need another analyst -- panelist to counter these things. they still talk about acorn. acorn hasn't existed for four years. talk about ken blackwell who screwed around in ohio in the '06-'08 elections, trying to change or prevent people from voting by changing the type of paper they had to send in their registrations on. ask him about joe connell who was rove's righthand man who could have testified or was scheduled to testify in '09 or '10, somewhere in there, about voter fraud in ohio that swung the election for bush instead of kerry, and the guy mysteriously died in a single-person plane crash
two days before he was supposed to talk in court. host: a lot of issues on the table, but the great part about this program is the viewers often provide the balance to the guests. we should also point out alan colmes is going to join us in 10, 15 minutes, he's out with a book called "thank the liberals". john fund, you can respond. guest: you've had guests from the advancement project that oppose voter laws and i commend c-span for having a wide range of opinions. i appreciate the caller telling me to remain quiet even though i was simply answering his question as to what shows i appear on but now that i can have my say i will simply tell him, mysterious deaths, i don't track mysterious helicopter theories, and usually it's a tragic coincidence. i'm not going to go there. you know, i don't go anywhere near controversies, those -- birther controversies, those are ridiculous, and as for the facts or they can't be
verified, he didn't raise a single fact that i mentioned that is inaccurate, and i just don't understand where he's coming from, if he wants to argue with me, he can present specific facts that i indicated, and he can say that they're inaccurate. but i mean, i did the book. my co-author, a former justice department official and federal election commissioner, wrote the book with me. the book is extensively footnoted. if he wants to challenge the facts, go ahead but don't allege they're inaccurate without evidence. host: from san clemente, good morning. caller: and good morning. i have a couple of things. how many people have been arrested for voting twice? and my second question is -- it's not a question. it's a comment in regard to the 2000 election. i recommend everyone to read an article called mundair call it treason by vince
maligosey and after reading that article, it actually -- he wrote a book, and then an article that appeared, and that, in my opinion, after reading it, we as america have lost our right to judge any other country about how they cast their vote. host: thank you for the call, two points. john fund, your response. guest: well, the book which i believe is by vincent bugliosi is certainly an interesting one but i haven't read it recently. as for other countries, yes, absolutely we are put to shame by other countries by with the efficiency in which they conduct elections and the integrity. mexico has a much better system. they have an i.d. card for voting, it has a hologram on it, it has to be scanned, they have a comprehensive accurate voter registration
list, unlike the one that pew research center found, you have to dip your finger in ink to show that you can't vote twice, canada has an i.d. law nationwide, almost every country in europe requires voter identification to vote. so yes we are deficient in all of those areas. host: should it be constitutionally required to vote, mandatory? guest: some countries do that. australia and belgium fine people if they don't vote. this country was based on individual freedom, and that includes the freedom for some people to forget about politics and get on with what they think is important in their life, whether it's family or faith or church or whatever. so i don't think requiring people to vote -- i mean, we want an informed electorate. if someone chooses not to pay attention to the news, not to pay attention to issues and then decides not to vote, i don't think we should prevent that from happening.
i think we should worry if people who are completely ignorant about the election system and parties want to vote and are required to vote. i think we would worry more about that, people just going in and said you have to vote and they say eeny, meeney, miney, moe. >> host: the title of the book is "who's counting" you write who in media seem concerned about the sloppiness of our election system, our current honor registration system in voting and the lax of enforcement in voter laws, to now having counterfeit bills and the treasury department not wanting to be bothered until the printing press is located. guest: there are counterfeit bills out there and the secret service is not protecting the president, it's countering currency. we spend a lot of time making sure the currency is valid. if we didn't pay attention to it and i submit we haven't paid a lot of evidence and suspicion that voter fraud is
out there, if we didn't track down how many bogus bills there were, you could say on national television, there's no counterfeiting problem, how many people have been convicted of this. if you don't look for this, you're going to get more of it. voter fraud has an risk-free activity. it's like shoplifting, you can reduce it by 25, 30 percent just like shoplifting if you take simp steps. in shoplifting they put up signs saying violators will be prosecuted, they put up cameras. not everyone is watching the camera but it shows people someone cares. so i think if we can have organizations and there are organizations like true the vote.org, which is trying to have a nationwide network of poll workers and watchers and cleaning up the voter registration roll, if we can have groups like that active i think we can make voter fraud a risk activity and not a risk-free activity and therefore there will be less of it. at the same time we have to make sure that everyone is
allowed to vote, there's no certain day, there's absolutely no people trying to prevent people from voting or something people in police uniform stationed outside of polling places. that happened on the republican side 30 years ago in new jersey. you have to have that as well. you can make it easy to vote and hard to cheat. we can do both and take this out of the partisan bickering and talk about good government solutions and all the solutions i'm talking about have the support of the overwhelming majority of american people, 74 percent in favor of voter i.d. in the last "washington post" poll. >> you also write for national review. lou is on the phone from war saw, missouri, good morning, republican line. caller: good morning. i would like to ask mr. fund request he could give me the article or the amendment in the u.s. constitution where it says that convicted felons cannot vote once they have served their sentence. and i'll listen to him on the air. thank you. guest: the constitution specifically gives the states the power to decide whether
or not felons can vote. it's in the constitution. i can't cite you the specific article, but if you look for it you will find it. that's why we have 50 different state laws on felon voting. some are too lenient as i pointed out, they allow people to vote from jail, some are too harsh but each state makes their mind up based on the constitution. host: another question about military voting from rachel on the twitter page, please ask mr. fund about the military vote problems. did you research this topic as well? guest: yes. and some senators have written the pentagon a letter saying we are very concerned that the 2009 law which was bipartisan to try to set up an office at every military base for voting is not being implemented properly. something like only about 30 percent of the absentee ballots that get sent out are returned and counted as actual votes. there have been proposals to let take up offers from fedex or dhl to facilitate the return of ballots but
apparently the postoffice has a monopoly on that, the ballots sometimes don't arrive in time, they're not counted then. we should make every effort possible to allow the military to vote, and i don't think we're doing that. right now, a small percentage in states like ohio and missouri and north carolina of the military ballots look like they're going to be coming back and i think that's a tragedy. these people sacrifice to protect our freedoms and we make it very difficult for them to exercise their right to vote which is fundamental to our freedoms. host: and jim frye has this point, we've seen it certainly in developing countries, why not use the blue ink, question mark. guest: well, i think -- i don't think in most places we have that much of a problem that we -- with people voting twice. i do think there are some cities where you've had examples, for example in milwaukee a few years ago, you had a park avenue heiress who would show up at homeless shelters and pay people in cigarettes, believe it or cigarettes, believe it or